DWR releases Semi-Annual Groundwater Conditions Report with Look Back at 2023 Water Year

Groundwater Extraction and Change in Storage

  • The Central Valley accounted for over 15 million acre-feet of groundwater pumping in WY 2022, about 90 percent of groundwater extractions in California. The majority of the highest extraction rates and volumes were within the San Joaquin Valley. The greatest extraction per area occurred in the Chowchilla, Kaweah, and Fillmore basins. The greatest volumes extracted were in the Kern County, Kings, and Kaweah basins.

Land Subsidence

  • Satellite data from DWR’s most recent quarterly land subsidence survey show that subsidence rates temporarily decreased, however, this is to be expected in wet years as groundwater basins are recharged and there is less groundwater pumping.
  • During the July 2022 to July 2023 period, the Tulare Lake Hydrologic Region had the most areas of subsidence with about 2,400 square miles of area experiencing greater than 0.1 feet of subsidence, followed by the San Joaquin River Region with about 1,100 square miles, and the Sacramento River Region with about 270 square miles.
  • As during previous dry-wet-dry cycles, subsidence rates are likely to increase again during future dry periods unless long term groundwater extraction is reduced as part of ongoing sustainable groundwater management.

Dry Well Reporting (note: dry well reporting is voluntary)

  • Fewer dry domestic wells were reported in 2023 compared to 2021 and 2022.
  • Dry wells are still being reported across the state. The 650 dry wells reported thus far in WY 2023 were lower than WY 2021 and 2022 but were still more than any year between 2016 and 2020.

Well Infrastructure

  • Fewer domestic and irrigation wells were installed in 2023 than any year in the past 9 years since the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act was passed.
October 12, 2023 – DWR releases Semi-Annual Groundwater Conditions Report with Look Back at 2023 Water Year
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